Life Goal: Getting my shit together.

I’m increasingly impressed with my ability to think that I’m a complete fuck up and later find out I’m only 90% fuck up.

In hopes of getting the most out of that 10% of success in life I’ve decided to make a list of life goals.

advice

They are these:

Get a second beagle puppy.

beagles12

Get a third (and possibly fourth) beagle puppy.

beagles

Find a house in Chicago that is conducive to multiple beagles.

laughing

Find a permanent job/never be a “trainee” again.

giveittome

Find a job that pays enough to maintain my lifestyle of Netflix, good bourbon, and beagles.

swordandthestone

Not have anxious, insecurity freakouts on boyfriend (more realistic goal: decrease number of anxious, insecurity freakouts on boyfriend)

daisy

Be amazing like David Bowie.

bowieclass

Resist urge to read comment sections in the news.

iq

Be able to talk to people at social gatherings (more realistic goal: decrease number of bourbons it takes to talk to people at social gatherings)

hell

Realize that “full time” means 40 hours, not 65, 70, or 80.  Also decrease caffeine intake.

tired

Convince self that socializing isn’t death

company

Figure out why Ben and Jerry’s says there are 4 servings in a pint (it’s clearly 2 at best)

icecream

Ok.  Plan to get life on Track: Go!

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Introvert Fail.

I feel incredibly awful about having not written anything in nearly 4 months.  I ‘ve half written like 8 posts that just fizzled at some point.  I actually can’t even believe how much time has passed.  Mostly due to incredibly busy schedules and adjusting to new jobs and adult life which, as it turns out, sucks as bad as I always feared it would.  See, I thought, I hoped, that it would be one of those things that I built myself up for so much and then when it came it would all turn out to be okay.  Nope.  Nope nope nope nope nope.  Sucks.  Real bad.  Hate it, hate everything about it.

prince

Long story short, I may have entered adult world, but I am still my 5 year-old self who clearly wants to be left alone to play with my Legos and watch X Files in peace, and please don’t interrupt me while I’m reading.

donnie-darko.jpg

And, as it turns out, that is not how a functional adult functions.

ariel2

This is a fact I was not prepared for.  And it has now gotten me in trouble.  Gone are the days when I can kick ass and do my work alone in peace and kick ass at it while I make snarky comments under my breath because at least I know I kick ass at the work that I do.  No, apparently and this sucks real bad, I have to do this socialize thing.

garth

I’m going to blame my parents for not preparing me for this “office politics” thing.  I don’t really have a basis for this, but I can’t afford therapy right now.  Sorry Mom and Dad.  😦  I’m sure you did your best with me, but I fail in the functional socialization aspect of life.

picard

Anyway, apparently I don’t smile and chat enough at work and everyone hates me.  I seem to come off as “disengaged.”  Not sure what to with this information other than feel really bad about myself.  Can’t seem to get past that stage….

nervous

But this is where I get so frustrated with myself.  I fully recognize that I am bad at interacting.  I don’t like it cause it’s genuinely hard when I first meet people.  I am one of those people who has to mindfully tell myself to look up from the ground, to look at people, and to smile, and to show interest.  It would be wonderful if these things came naturally.  But they don’t.  I’m usually not paying attention to my surroundings because I’m lost in my own thoughts, focused on whatever I’m doing or some random thought that popped up in my head.  I also have to mindfully tell myself to compliment or comment on people around me.  But I also have to focus on filtering the weird, tangential thoughts that I have to something more appropriate.  This, my friends, takes a minute.  So it ends up in this situation where I have to take a minute to put together thoughts into something socially appropriate, at which point the conversation has usually taken a turn or I have missed my opportunity.  And again I end up seeming disinterested, no matter the effort I’m putting forward.  These are the things that suck.

sherl2

Now, for my own self, I prefer just embracing the introverted thing.  That gives me the leeway to get used to a situation, see how much I actually have to filter and what I can get away with not filtering, also reducing the anxiety that makes the filter work slower.  Most of the time, this has worked out fine.  I spend a few months looking like a quiet weirdo and then come out of my protective hate shell.

But I promise if you get to know me I'm amazing!

But I promise if you get to know me I’m amazing!

But adult world does not want to be this patient.  So I am here now, drinking wine and wondering if Irishing up my coffee will help things when I return to work in the morning.  Introvert Fail.

I promise I’m really not a cold, disinterested bitch!  At least not on purpose!

awkward

Although, in all fairness, I don’t ask anyone else to give a fuck about Asimov’s Foundation Triology or which David Bowie Era was the most creative.  <—Defensiveness

Long story short, absenteeism=shy adult anxiety stifling word writing ability.

neverland

Me vs. Internet Companies

It never fails.  Internet hates me.  And all I tried to do is love it.  This is the story of every single time I move and try to get internet hooked up.

I call internet company and they tell me that it will be 3 weeks.  

phonecall

Fine.  Okay.  Whatever. 

patience

Week 2.  Patience wears thin.

save me

The day before interwebz comes, I start to celebrate and think about all the internetting I’m going to do.

excited

And the day comes and no one shows up.  And I call…

wtf

And they’re like “blah blah blah, no internet for you.”  

polite

Me:

whydon'tyouloveme

Them:

no2

Please?

notokay

Them:  Okay, we’ll send someone out in 3 more weeks.  Now, piss off.  Wait.

waiting2

wait…

giveittome

But it’s time now!!! Let’s call to make sure they are coming this time!

waynes-world

Me:  Hey internet people!  Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!  What?  You’re not coming?

what

Internet people:

no3

Me: 

liiiiiiies-american-horror-story

Them: “Let me see what we can do.”

internet

Me: …on hold….

waiting

Them:

Tno

Me:

displeased

Them:

umad

Me:  “I don’t know why I ever trusted you.”

eat it

Them:  Because you have no choice.

darth

Me:

killing

Until this gets resolved, Internet, just know this:

gg

My Weekend as Told by The B in 23

This weekend I learned that I should never leave town.  And there is a world of people I need to never interact with.  Because when I leave my house and interact with people…

justhityou

Seriously.  It was bad.

gofuckyourself

I tried to give fucks.  But there were none to give.

help

Luckily, there are a few supportive entities in the world.

support

But now I need a break.  I return to my hole with my internets and dog and boyfriend.  Or else.

strangle

 

But that’s behind us now.

thepast

 

And anyway, I suppose it could have been worse.  I was preparing myself for worse.

murder

I think I’m just awful at being a human being.

The more I’m forced into Adult World the more I’m forced to realize that I”m bad at being a human being.

Really, I’m horrible.  I find human interaction absolutely exhausting.  I just legitimately DO NOT understand so many things that go into being a functional adult.  I’m learning that questioning things that are ” just what you do” get you hella side-eye.  Oh, and apparently you’re not supposed to admit how much you hate thing or try to be funny with your boss.  If your hobbies aren’t crossfit or something on pinterest, you are a weirdo.

arielgross

Instances that brought me to this conclusion:

Commiserating with co-workers about expensive travel, I said this: “I’m glad I don’t have any friends, it means I don’t have to go to a lot of weddings.”
Coworker:  “So…essentially you just said that friends a hassle.”
Me:  “Well…yeah…right?”

humble

Co-workers talking about weekend drinking, workouts, etc.  Then ask how my weekend was:  “Oh!  The antique shop down my street had a sidewalk sale!  It was so cool, OMG!”    *co-workers blink, then stare*

swordandthestone

My sisters asks me how I like my neighborhood: “It’s fucking weird.  All these people wave at me and shit and try to be friendly.  They invited us to a block party.  Who does that?”

My friend and I getting out of my car and neighbor waves “Hello:”  *awkward wave and forced smile* “quick, get inside before he thinks he can chat us up.”

idon'tlifeyou

Family leaves after visiting for a weekend: begin immediate cleaning, hug dog, and tell him “it’s okay, it’s just me now.  And ice cream.”

On discussing the zombie (or other type of) apocalypse:
Me:  “I think I’d just die.”
Boyfriend:  “What?  Wouldn’t you like try to fight or save people or anything.”
Me: “No.  It just seems like it would be really hard.  Like, everything would be hard.  I don’t want to do that.”

2014officespace1

Debating the worth of Indian Jones movies with a history buff:
History buff:  “But Indiana Jones is like history adventure and action.  You add aliens and it’s just ridiculous Chariots of the Gods stuff.”
Me: “But all the other movies are based on religious myths.  I see religious myths and alien myths as the same….but I think that’s offensive to say isn’t it? umm….”

sherlock sorry

Boyfriend getting ready to go out of town for weekend:
Boyfriend: “What are you gonna do while I’m gone?”
Me: “Transcribe research interviews.  Analyze.  Self-loath.”
Boyfriend: “Why don’t you go out with friends?”
Me: “…I don’t….have friends?”

smegle

After my graduation ceremony:
Mom: “Did you want to go to that cocktail hour for your graduating class and see your classmates?”
Sister:  “You know she doesn’t.”

sisterkatniss
When my friend comments on my back tattoo being hard to read:  “No, I like it that way because I don’t like when people comment on my tattoos and ask what they mean.”

tumblr_m0qrax50Mv1qfosvh

It’s become kind of a fun game, my utter lack of social grace/interest.  I’ve learned that if I laugh off the more offensive things that I say (only noticing how offensive they are as I get to the end of the sentence) I get people to just think that I’m a funny bitch.  This doesn’t always work and I often come off as just a bitch.  But I’ve also discovered that when I really REALLY try to be social and engage with people I’m fucking miserable.  I just don’t care.  I don’t care about the lives of 98% of people around me.  If you are my dog, boyfriend, or one of the very few friends and loved family members that are important in my life, I’m probably not going to try.

IDGAF

I know when I really have to try.  I can do it for a bit at a time, socialize and be casual.  But, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s exhausting and stressful.  It’s who I am.  I’m bad at being a human.  I’m okay with that.

bowie

Reflections from inside Rape Culture

A few weeks ago I started, and never quite finished, a post of a few of the more amusing moments I’ve had in therapy.   Those ridiculous things that I deal with that are so obviously answered, yet depressed people can’t even form into questions.  But then on my drive home today I was musing about a few more of these and I remembered a less-than-funny bit of my therapy in high school.

Throughout high school I was in theater.  I was a kickass techie, propmaster, and all around killer crew kid.  Up until I got a job and had to cut back, I spent pretty much all of my after school hours in tech, or waiting around for tech to start.

Some days we would wait around the school for an hour or more waiting for things to start up.  Or there would be nothing for us to do, so we would just hang around outside the actual theater.  Of course, there were all kinds of other kids doing this as well, or waiting for other things, rides, sports. whatever.  All things were good.

Except this one kid…

During my freshman year in high school, we would hang around, waiting for the backstage area to open, waiting to be told what to do, waiting for rides, etc.  There was this one kid who wasn’t in theater or anything.  I never had any idea what he was always doing around after school got out, but he gave me the creeps.  He had some distant acquaintanceship with one of my friends, so he would hang around us.  But, ugh, he gave me the creeps.  He was always standing too close.  Make too personal of jokes at me.  Asking other people weird things about me.  Offering me and no one else rides home.  To the point that he was following me around the school.  If I left to talk to a teacher or use the computer lab away from my friends, he would be right around the corner.  When I told him to stop or leave me alone, he would laugh.  If a friend told him to back off, he would laugh.  It got to the point that I didn’t want to leave the green room or stage area.  I knew the director always had a fit if non-tech or non-actors were back there, so I always made up a reason to be back there or took a friend if I had another errand to run.

I was 15.  I had no idea what else to do at this point.  I was in therapy, so I told my therapist what was going on.  I told him that this was making me not want to go to tech crew.  Well, rather than figuring out what action to take and what to do, my therapist decides to tell me “Oh he’s just interested and doesn’t know how to show it.”  He tried to convince me I was being insecure because of depression.  That this was just a kid with a crush.  When I continued to tell him that it made me REALLY FREAKED OUT and HIDE IN THE GREENROOM, he advised me “Well if you’re not interested, just don’t pay attention.  He’ll eventually move on.”

really

Well, let’s just talk about how much better that all made me feel.  I should apparently be flattered that this guy is following me around and being super inappropriate in all ways.  But it’s only because he has a crush.  I shouldn’t be scared or creeped out at all.  I’m just insecure.  Great.

ok

I feel 100% positive I’m not the only person who has gone through something like this and gotten this type of advice.  And I wish I could even say something about how this therapist was a horrible, sexist, asshole.  But, truth is, he was wonderful in many ways.  He helped me through that first episode of depression and get my head back on track.  The horrible thing is that this is such a natural response to the issue I brought forward for so many people.  What should I have expected?  What could he have said?  Shit, I would have been fine with “I’m sorry, that sucks and it sucks that people like that exist.”  Just to know that this wasn’t something I should expect or something that is okay for people to have to deal with or something that is somehow a positive because it means I’m attractive.

eyebrow

This is just one day-to-day example of rape culture.  Luckily in my case, nothing horrible happened.  I made it through the show season by hiding and using the buddy system.  The school year ended and I actually never saw the kid again.  Never asked what happened and never wanted to know.  It was nice, after that, to be able to stay after school and walk around freely, not worrying if someone was following me.  Not feeling uncomfortable, hiding, or pulling another friend away from their business so I could pee.

I’m sure someone out there can tell me I was/am overreacting or making something out of nothing.  But here is the truth:  I was freaked out and uncomfortable.  I felt unsafe.  The adult I trusted enough to say something to diminished and even normalized it.  It’s not normal.  It shouldn’t be normal to feel like that.

How to get a job (In Chicago)

I got a job!!!!  WOooot!!

Fiercetyra

Actually I got a job like a month ago (ha!  One day before my arbitrary and unrealistic -May 30-deadline that I gave myself to feel some sort of self worth that obviously backfired because it resulted in 2 months of self-loathing before I got the offer).

selfloathing

But that’s in the past now!  And through this sorted process of job finding I learned a few things about how you get jobs.

You see, for the past 9 years I have been in the stressful, but protective bubble of school.  Scholarships, work study, student loans, practica, etc all protected me from the real world.  I had jobs, bartending, serving, tutoring, I was Sauerkraut Girl for one glorious winter break.  But I never felt bad about these temporary and low paying jobs because I convinced myself, well, deluded myself into thinking that I would be better on the other side.  I would be big fancy doctor pants and it would all be worth it.  Not getting a serving job that I didn’t care about didn’t matter because there were 100 bars all over the place that always needed someone.

Enter impending graduation and forced entry into the real world.

fight-my-way

It turns out when you work really hard on something, a degree, you want really hard to prove that you deserve it and that you’re good at it.  The first step to that is finding a job that utilizes said degree.  Every single time you get rejected it provides a little proof that you do not deserve that degree.  No matter how hard you worked, you still suck.   Every single time a cohort member gets a job, you hate them and yourself more.

angst

You polish and polish and polish your resume.  You realize you are polishing a turd.  You cry.  You eat feelings.  This goes on for months.

But Bowie explained all of that.

Gratuitous use of the most ridiculous moment in film.

Gratuitous use of the most ridiculous moment in film.

Anyway, I actually got two fellowship offers.  And you know what I realized through these offers?  There are only two ways to get a job in Chicago.  Nepotism or amazingly cute shoes.

Add shoes and a connection and you have a job in this town.

Add shoes and a connection and you have a job in this town.

I know right?  I mean, nepotism doesn’t surprise anyone.  This is Chicago.  We can quit pretending like this surprises us.  My first job offer came from a friend of a friend.  Friend passed CV to her friend, kablam!  Offer.  Legit, like no interview until after offer was made.

Shoes?   I wish I was making that up.  I wear different shoes all the time.  I love shoes.  But I have one pair of shoes that I have worn to pretty much every successful interview, save my current placement.  They are old and they are cute as hell.  I bought them for grad school interviews and those bitches have kept me solid ever since.  And this is not even belief in luck.  I always have someone comment on the shoes at the school or agency.  I wore them to interview at a site way beyond my reach, and those fuckers hired me!  Only, of course, after commenting on my shoes.  Now, these shoes are not comfortable in any way.  Or even fancy; I bought them at Target in 2008.  But they are my “Hey, I’m a 6 ft tall badass therapist” shoes, apparently.  They’re old and worn out.  But I’m afraid if I get rid of them I will be forever unemployed.

Shoes

Anyway, that is the story of how I got a job and value as a human being.

The End

Aww thanks, Cumby!

Aww thanks, Cumby!

Murder and Mental Illness…and other things.

I live in the Columbine Generation.  I’ve seen so many mass shootings in my life that they have sadly become commonplace.  Every several months, and I fully realize how fucked up this is to say, but every few months they occur in a near predictable way.  With few exceptions, the perpetrator is generally a straight, white, male.  Also generally upper or upper-middle class.

We naturally look for an explanation when these things occur.  We look at these individuals’ backgrounds, their families, their social groups, etc.  We conclude that they were isolated, struggled to connect with people, depressed, clearly suffering from severe mental illness.

And that’s where I stop.  I stop for so many reasons.  Unqualified talking heads making judgments about mental illness with absolutely no understanding of what they’re saying.  Almost never do they invite a qualified psychologist to speak on the subject.   Pundits then go into this long history of what warning signs should have been seen and by who and subtly trying to place blame, but placing blame is apparently outdated so they talk about “faults in the system.”  Then they go into gun control, because that dead horse is apparently still worth beating.

But why do we always look to mental illness for these shootings?  These privileged men had to have been missing something.  They must have been on the fringe in some way.  One of the “out group” in some way.  Because the man that murdered so many innocents can’t be the same as the man that judges him on the television.  So what minority can we shove him in?  Because he can’t be “one of us.”  So we smack on the “mentally ill” label, and we feel better.  We are once again secure in knowing that the shooter is “one of them.”  Different.  Not us.

Beyond being a member of the Columbine Generation, I also live in Chicago.  I live in a city where murders occur practically every day.  And yet, we don’t talk about mental illness.  In fact, we close down mental health facilities and talk about gangs and “urban crime.”  We ignore the fact of trauma and trauma-related disorders because we have something more convenient already.

I’m not saying that these spree killers didn’t have mental illnesses, but I wouldn’t be stupid enough to open my mouth and say that they did without evidence either.  I do agree with the plethora of articles out there that talk about the impact of privilege on spree killers.

I’m a systemic person.  I need to just get a Bronfenbrenner tattoo because it would save me time in explaining this fucking circle.

Let us look again at how each layer of influence and how it might contribute to Affluena.

I’m so over trying to explain this shit.

But really, we need to stop looking for the quick explanation in mass murders.  I don’t like being the Columbine Generation.  I don’t like that I can name over a dozen mass killings off the top of my head.  But if we want them to actually stop, we need to look at it systemically and stop screaming “Mental Illness!” at each other.  Because clearly this does nothing.  And it ignores the murders that occur on the streets every day (kinda like the news).

Job (or Postdoc) Searches as explained by Bowie

(Because this is all there is in my head.)

obliette
First comes the sudden realization that you are graduating at some point.  That the graduate school bubble of security will end.  Oh, and also, you have to pay back all those loans.

panic

But it’s okay, right?  Because through all of that schooling and training you gained awesome experience.  You know what you want and you can do it!  Who would pass up someone like you?  This is completely delusional, you just don’t know it yet.  So you start confidently sending out application after application.

bowiethenextday

But after one or two or three dozen and no responses…

ponderingbowie

And then you start to think there may just be something wrong with you.  Because seriously, WTF?  Are you not even worth a rejection letter?

waiting

And you think maybe that professor that openly hated you, that you had constant mental warfare with, might have been right.  And maybe you should have taken the hints and reconsidered this a long time ago.

But then, just when you’ve finished that 5th pint of Americone Dream (because it’s inspirational ice cream), you get an interview!  And after one second of celebration, you suddenly realize that means you have to be impressive in person.  That’s really hard and sucky.

almost

But you try to pretend like you’re capable or something like that.  So you get all dressed up and put on your game face.

dressing

bowiegameface

And when you get there, you try to be all confident and shit.

bowieclass

But halfway through the interview, you realize you haven’t breathed in like 10 minutes and you’re running out of ways to say “Please dear god hire me.  I will do anything.”

breathing

So that was a bust.

bowie done

(Or, I don’t know.  Some people have that confidence thing and walk out of interviews all like this:)

bowieyay!

I don’t know. I don’t get it. Is this real? Do people ever actually feel like this after interviews?

Then people want to ask you how it went.  No matter how much you try to hide from people.  Your friends and family are always going to ask how things are going.  If you’re excited for graduation.  What your plans are.  And you have no answers.  Like, at all.

questionquestion2

And then your friends and loved ones will try to distract you.

distraction

Or sympathize.

notalone

And you’re just all like:

keepyourmouthshut

Because:

getting older

bowietears

 

More fails in jobs searches

Is there anything more painful than job applications?  You fill out one after another until you completely lose track.  You hear nothing for weeks.  If you ever do hear anything, there’s a 90% chance it’s a rejection.  One the off chance you get an interview, you get so excited that you spend your last 50 bucks on a new outfit to feel confident and impress the world with.  You get to the interview only to find 10 other people who did the same thing.  You start to have panic attacks.  You make up stupid answers to stupid questions, when the reality of the fact is, nothing you say or they say matters, you just need a job and will do anything they ask.

daisy

“What do you think you can add to this agency?” “Well, I’m totally adaptable and am willing to provide any answer you want to hear.  I work well with others, but I’m also a great leader, but also I can play a supporting role if that’s what you need.  I’m totally proficient at *insert computer/billing program, and if not I will spend countless sleepless nights mastering it.  I will do anything you ask and I will never let you down and if I ever do, I will completely tolerate the entire office throwing shade at me for weeks.  Also, I poop rainbows and stardust.  I’m willing to buy donuts and Starbucks for everyone everyday forever.  Please, please, please.  I’m begging you.  If I kill all the other applicants, does that mean you have to take me?  Because I think that shows real dedication.”

hiddleston

Of course there are those few times that you are applying for (and maybe even interview for) your dream job.  And you try so hard to impress them and be all like “I’m the greatest!  I’m so awesome.  But I am nothing compared to you!  Please just let me be in your presence!”  And they’re all like, naw bitch.

arieldisapp

And then of course, you apply for jobs that you absolutely no interest in and would probably be bad at anyway, but you need something, so hey, why not?  And these are inevitably the ones that call you for an interview and you get there and you’re like “….ummm, yeah no.”  And they’re like “…ummmm, yeah no.”  And even though that interchange was mutual, you still leave feeling like crap.

cumbyinterview

Sometimes you hear nothing for months.  But you somehow convince yourself that maybe, just MAYBE they’re still getting around to making their decision and there is some hope that you might still have a job opportunity.   You know you’re lying to yourself.  And you can’t even feel good about telling yourself that lie, but you’ve run out of ice cream and alcohol and all you have left is that lie.

blair1

And your friends and significant others will try to tell you how awesome you are and you know that they’re only being supportive.  And some of them might actually believe that you are awesome.  But this too, is a lie.  Because how can you be awesome if none of these jobs think you’re awesome?  You can’t be.  It’s just not possible.  Clearly you suck and have nothing to offer anyone.  They’re not even interested in your rainbow/stardust poops.  What more can you do.

mulder
Enter quiet desperation.  At this point, I only talk to my dog because he can still think I’m awesome.  Until my current internship ends and I can no longer afford his food or denti-bones.  And I lose so much weight from not being able to afford to eat myself, that I wither away to nothing and I’m not even comfortable to sleep on.  Then he will not think I’m awesome.  And then I will have lost everything.

Beagle-Puppy-3

But I will continue to look for jobs and fellowships, because I have no choice.  I will continue to lay my self-worth in the hands of directors and committees.  For they are the deciding factor on whether or not I am worthwhile as an employee and therefore a person.

bowielove me